Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My Experience as a Lawyer

From what I see, people either distrust corporations or the government. If you tell me which you distrust more, I can probably tell you whether you're a Republican or Democrat.

But if we set aside politics, the first problem with laws is that small businesses--an essential part of our economy--get entangled in regulations that should be designed only for major corporations.

The second problem is that these small businesses--many of them immigrant-owned--don't have litigation budgets or cannot afford to pay a lawyer in advance to comply with every technical law. It just seems unfair that Mr. Cambodian Donut Shop Owner has to learn about some technical violation only when he gets served with a lawsuit and has to go lawyer-hunting.

The third problem is that government doesn't do enough to help these small businesses, even as it taxes them heavily and relies on revenue from them.

The fourth problem--and why change is so difficult--is that major corporations essentially control much of the legislation (when they're not writing it) and heavily influence Congress.

Overall, there are many laws we ought to have, but not if they also apply to small businesses. It's a shame we don't impose minimum revenue requirements on small businesses before subjecting them to thousands of pages of hard-to-understand laws.

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